Soniccouture Box of Tricks Review: Imogen Heap’s Sound World In A Library

Box of Tricks review
Soniccouture’s Box of Tricks is an expansive sample library, the brainchild of a unique collaboration with Imogen Heap.

If you are familiar with Imogen Heap’s colorful music, you probably know what to expect from Box of Tricks.

Not only are there thirteen sample-based instrument modules – array-mbira, cello, cocktail-kit, tongue drum, body & vocal percussion, vibraphone, vocalpad, boomwhackers, whirly-tubes, glockenspiel, Shruti box, waterphone, and marxophone, but also extensive coding and scripting beneath the surface for advanced rhythmic triggering along with a multitude of custom effects, made and tailored for both studio production and live play.

Library Specs

  • Kontakt Player 5.5 Compatible
  • 30GB core sample library (13GB with Kontakt’s compression)
  • 13 Kontakt Instruments
  • 24/96 Stereo Sampling
  • Multiple velocity layers, round robin layers & articulations (varies per instrument)
  • 170 Snapshot presets
  • 12.7 GB download delivered by Soniccouture Cloud Downloader App

The sounds
The Array-Mbira sounds slightly off-kilter in an exciting way. Boomwackers sound fun and lively, while the cello is realistic and has a beautiful dark tone (some more noisy and experimental sounds are also available from this instrument, which could be gorgeous in certain instances).

The Cocktail Kit is a striking acoustic drum kit with plenty of supplementary percussions, all with a distinct and rich tonality.

Glockenspiel has quite a nice sheen to it. Marxophone is mesmerizing, especially in the upper-mid frequencies. Shruti Box has a lovely airy yet almost organ-like texture that that catches the ear in a lovely way, especially with the built in custom effects.

640vocal and body

The Tongue Drum is a very peaceful/tranquil, it’s very soothing when played win conjunction with the Jammer 2.0. The Vibraphone sounds great for sustained-note play.

It should be noted that many instruments have Reverse mode, which easily allow a user to reverse all samples that are played.

The Vocal Pad is the best vocal sample library I have found to date, the sampling and scripting for this instrument have gone above and beyond – it’s impossible to make it sound bad/uninteresting. The Voice and Body Percussion are very creative and usable; some of these samples, in particular, are pristine.

The Waterphone is eerie but vibrant, and the Whirly Tubes are fascinatingly airy sinusoid-ish waves that could be brilliant in certain situations.

Euclidian beats are an incredible feature available within the Cocktail Kit and Vocal + Body Percussion Kit. It utilizes Euclidean mathematics to evenly space each hit across the bar in time – yielding interesting and complex beats:

I’ve never had more fun playing a drum kit, and I can imagine that this function would be incredible for live situations. MIDI can even be exported to one’s DAW for transferring to other instruments – this could be used as an impressive composition tool!

The Jammer is also quite formidable as well, easily fitting new patterns into pre-existing ones and flowing quite nicely. The evolve section is my favorite part – it introduces randomicity to five parameters: pitch, octave, velocity timing and gaps (randomly turning notes off), yielding impressively natural variations.

Box of Tricks is a lot of bang for your buck – the instruments are sublime, as are the Kontakt scripting intricacies: allowing composition within Kontakt and the ability to export those MIDI patterns is, simply put, next-level innovation.

It may not be the best choice for more pop-oriented commercial productions, but if you’re interested in adding some more experimental and worldly sounds to your composer’s toolbox, I would highly recommend Box of Tricks.


Listen to the audio demos and buy Box of Tricks here.

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